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Suggestions/Tips for a Mystery Story?

3 years ago

Hello! I'm a newb working on my first storygame. This storygame is a Mystery/Comedy with a lot of focus being on the characters. However, I'm having a bit of trouble with the actual mystery side of it, which, yes, I realize is the whole point of writing a mystery. If anyone has any suggestions or tips, that would be most helpful. Thank you!

Suggestions/Tips for a Mystery Story?

3 years ago

Hello! Sounds like a cool idea. My mind immediately went to the boardgame Clue. I imagine writing a mystery/comedy would be easiest if the characters were stuck in their environment. You could give choices that don't seem limited since, well, the environment is the limiting factor. It's kind of cliche at this point, but the whole locked in a mansion with people getting killed off thing would probably work well here. Throw in a few quirky characters, fun dialogue, and murder and you have a masterpiece! Choices could be searching rooms, looking for clues, interrogating characters, and deciding who the murderer is. 

Suggestions/Tips for a Mystery Story?

3 years ago

That could work! Your suggestion is already giving me ideas.

Suggestions/Tips for a Mystery Story?

3 years ago

Glad to help out. Just remember your ol' pal, ninjapitka, when you're a rich and famous published author.

Suggestions/Tips for a Mystery Story?

3 years ago

Will do. Thanks for the help!

Suggestions/Tips for a Mystery Story?

3 years ago
With a mystery you really need to work backwards a bit. With most stories you come up with a bunch of stuff about the main character first, but in a situation like this you figure out exactly what the guilty person did and when and why and how and what kind of evidence that would leave before you worry about the main character at all. The clues themselves when you have them all and put them together should prove that it was only possible for one specific person to do it, but that shouldn't be possible to figure out till right before the end.

If that sounds complicated, that's because it is. Mysteries are always going to be harder and require more planning than a normal story.

Reading this one might give you some ideas:

http://chooseyourstory.com/story/Detective_1_0x3a__Blacksea_Island.aspx

Suggestions/Tips for a Mystery Story?

3 years ago

Thank you!

Suggestions/Tips for a Mystery Story?

3 years ago
Indeed, one of the most limiting factors about writing a CYOA mystery IS the mystery. Authors often want to make it difficult for the reader to quickly and easily solve the mystery -- but at the same time, the author also has to have a link right there in front of the reader that has the correct answer. Of course, if you want to put more detail and work into it, it is possible to create situations using variables and code that will actually hide the correct answer from the reader until they actually discover the correct item to make that conclusion. While that might be more interesting, it can be hollow because while the reader may have clicked on the correct item, they might not have actually made the connection in their own mind until they actually see the new option to click on to solve the mystery. So yes, read that one that mizal linked, but also give this a lot of consideration. Writing a CYOA can be difficult by itself to create a complete story that also gives the user control. To do so while introducing a mystery can be even more difficult. I'm not saying it can't be done, just that when you do plan it out, be sure that you have logical paths through the story that make sense no matter what choices the reader makes. If you're going to have an "end scene" where everthing is revealed, be sure that makes sense based on the choices that the reader picked. And if you're going to make it possible for the reader to pick the correct answers, you've got to make sure it is possible that they can pick the incorrect answers and potentially never solve the mystery at all! I've toyed with the idea of a completition of sorts where the reader is trying to solve the mystery at the same time as other teams and if enough wrong choices are made, the mystery gets solved, just by someone else. That would allow the reader to see the correct solution eventually and still at least somewhat make some logical sense. Good luck and feel free to share more thoughts and ideas behind the planning if you want more feedback from others.

Suggestions/Tips for a Mystery Story?

3 years ago

I think you have to make a character that is very helpful to the main character/the player but never shows who he/she is. Then at the end of the story you make a paragraph of that mysterious character showing who he/she is only in front of the main character/player. That maybe would make it more mysterious. Hope this helps! smiley